Posted by|17 April 2014
Nothing says “team building” like sharing a creative experience together! This past Saturday, our shipping manager Kris (sitting, third from the left in the second row), invited the entire shipping team out for a painting party at Vino and Vango in Springfield, Oregon.
A mix of 22 employees and their enthusiastic partners showed up for the artistic adventure! Most had never painted before and everyone was laughing and having a good time as they all painted from the same image of Multnomah Falls. In addition to the good company, snacks, and creative inspiration, they each got to take their masterpieces home!
Posted by|15 April 2014
I’ve been making a lot of liquid soap blends for around the house this week, much more than usual because we just moved! With the move came an extra bathroom which meant, yep, I needed more soap. I love using Castille Soap in as many ways as possible, it lasts forever, and is an affordable natural product. I’ve used it on my hair as shampoo, as dish soap, and as a general house cleanser. I learned that diluting it is the best way to go and adding other ingredients like essential oils can create fun scents or extra anti-microbial action.
This week while I was playing with castille soap and my favorite blends from our Spring Aroma Sprays blog it dawned on me just how wonderful the Thieves® blend would be for a hand soap! The lingering warm and spicy blend of cinnamon, cloves, and cleansing lemon and eucalyptus are sure to please guests and help keep my home healthy and happy. This blend is full of powerful herbs that legend tells us held strong even against the plague! That is exactly the sort of force I want in my hand soap — and dish soap too! For this hand soap blend, I also added a tiny bit of vegetable glycerin, feel free to add more if you like your hand soap more moisturizing. I found just 1 Tablespoon in an 8oz container worked wonders! My hands were smooth and soft and smelled amazing!
What you’ll need:
8oz container - or you can reuse an old container!
1oz container (travel size)
2 1/8 cups distilled water
5 Tbsp organic Liquid Castille Soap
2 Tbsp organic Vegetable Glycerine *optional
Pitcher for blending essential oils
This essential oil recipe will bring you to a total of 120 drops, which is enough essential oil blend to make two 8oz bottles of herbal hand soap, plus two travel size herbal hand soaps to store in your purse or in the glove box of your car.
40 drops organic Clove Essential Oil
15 drops organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops organic Rosemary Essential Oil
*If you have Cinnamon Bark at home, that will work fine for non-sensitive skin – however, Cinnamon bark is very strong and may cause irritation if using on the skin, so reduce the amount by half. I went with CInnamon Leaf for a more delicate hand soap.
In a medium pitcher or small bowl mix together distilled water, liquid castille soap, vegetable glycerin if you are using it, and your blend of essential oils. Stir lightly, don’t agitate too much or you could be quickly consumed by bubbles! Using a funnel, fill your two 8oz bottles and lastly your two 1oz travel size bottles!
The castille soap will give you the suds necessary to really scrub off any dirt or grime you may get on your hands this spring season, and the wonderful blend of antiseptic essential oils will leave you feeling that much more refreshed and cleansed.
* Essential oils are highly concentrated, strong, and powerful liquids that can be harmful if not used carefully and properly. This is an especially potent blend of essential oils which could cause irritation when applied to the skin, even in diluted amounts. We advocate caution when using them, and do not recommend using essential oils internally. Please keep essential oils out of reach of children. We do not advocate usage of this recipe on babies, toddlers, or children.
Thieves® is a registered trademark of Young Living Essential Oils, LC. Mountain Rose Herbs is not affiliated with Young Living Essential Oils, LC in any way.
Posted by|14 April 2014
Clucking happily atop rolling country hills and bustling city backyards, our precious hens provide the richest and most delicious protein nuggets around. Here’s one of my favorite herbal infused egg recipes to help inspire you when that basket fills up. Especially festive this time of year, the sweet and spicy beet brine imparts this gorgeous shade of magenta while the creamy curried yolk filling brings a pop of gold to the plate. Show up to the potluck with these beauties and watch everyone’s eyes grow wide with wonder. They’re super tasty too!
Pickled Curry Deviled Eggs
2 cups water
1 cup organic white vinegar
3 small organic beets, washed and sliced
1 organic shallot, roughly chopped
2 tsp organic sugar
½ tsp organic fenugreek seed
6 hard boiled local organic eggs, peeled
6 egg yolks
2 Tbsp organic mayo
2 tsp organic Dijon mustard
1 tsp organic curry powder
1 tsp fresh organic lemon juice
¼ tsp organic cayenne powder
Fresh cilantro leaves or chives for garnish
Combine all of the pickling ingredients (except for the eggs) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Allow the brine to cool slightly and then add the peeled hard boiled eggs. Use the beet slices to submerge the eggs in the brine. Let the eggs marinate for at least two hours in the fridge or overnight.
Remove the eggs from the brine and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and in a separate bowl mash them together with mayo, Dijon mustard, curry powder, and a touch of salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the yolk filling into the eggs and then garnish with fresh cilantro and a dusting of curry powder.
Posted by|13 April 2014
Some Sundays are about resting up, recharging, and giving the immune system a chance to recover. When I’m feeling a little worn down and wanting to ward off any inkling of illness for the coming week, this tea gives me a medicinal vitamin boost, as well as the yummy herbal flavors I crave…
Perky Boost Tea
1 tsp. organic Echinacea angustifolia Root
1 tsp. organic Rose Buds
1 tsp. organic Rosehips
½ tsp. organic Wild Cherry Bark
½ tsp. organic Dried Lemon Peel
Scoop all ingredients into a tea infuser or tea bag. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 5-6 minutes. This makes enough for one cup, but feel free to multiply for a full pot. Put your feet up and enjoy!
Posted by|11 April 2014
Henna is a natural plant-based coloring application for the hair that is made from the powdered leaves of the desert shrub Lawsonia inermis. Other botanicals such as Indigofera sp. and Cassia obovata are added to the Lawsonia to create different henna colors. We offer 6 beautiful henna shades created from these botanical combinations. Choose from: Black, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Mahogany, and Red.
Our new 6oz size comes packaged in a reusable and recyclable tin. The 1lb bags of henna now come in a reclosable stand-up kraft bag that is compostable once the zipper is removed, and our 5lb bulk bag is still available. Each henna product that you purchase comes with our Guide to Proper Henna Use, complete with instructions and helpful tips.
Posted by|10 April 2014
We mixed up our favorite organic culinary oil, seasoning blend, and salt combos for sampling at the 24th annual Chefs’ Night Out — a fundraiser for our local food pantry, Food for Lane County. Kori and Mason had so much fun chatting, answering questions, and sharing in the culinary festivities with the 1100 guests who attended. We felt great knowing that we were playing a part in raising more than $75,000 to provide 225,000 meals for our neighbors in need!
We shared savory tastes from our Epicurean Organics line of gourmet seasoning blends, artisan salts, whole peppercorns, and fine culinary oils! Our Epicurean Organics line is certified organic and we donate 2% of every Epicurean Organics sale to the Organic Consumers Association.
Posted by|09 April 2014
Spring flowers are blooming and that means the Herb Fairies will be returning soon!
To celebrate their arrival, let’s make one of their favorite tea recipes…
Plantain Fairy Tea!
Plantain is thought to be the 2nd most common weed we find here in the US after dandelion, and thankfully it offers wonderful food and medicine. The leaves can be eaten in salads when young and tender – before they become tough and stringy with age. When used medicinally, the soaked seeds offer slimy demulcent action and the leaves are often used to make a “green bandage” or chew poultice for drawing out splinters and relieving bug bites. Dried leaves can also be infused to make a nice soothing and nutrient rich tea.
Posted by|08 April 2014
We are getting ready for the best Free Herbalism Project event yet!
Spring has sprung here in beautiful Eugene and we can’t wait to celebrate Herb Day with an amazing lineup of free herbal classes, free tea, and blooming wildflowers galore.
You are invited to join us for a spring plant walk, a street herbalism workshop with Occupy Medical, and a hands-on lecture about aromatherapy and the many uses of essential oils with California author and herbalist Kathi Keville! This time around, the event will be a fundraiser for Occupy Medical and the American Herb Association! All profits raised during this event from the sale of t-shirts, essential oils, books, and other herbal merchandise will be donated to these two amazing organizations.
Pacific Northwest in Springtime
To begin the festivities, Howie Brounstein and Steven Yeager from the Columbines School of Botanical Studies will take us on a trip through the forest to meet our wild beauties of spring! From lilies and orchids, to violets and Oregon grape, come learn how to identify the gorgeous blooms around you, discover their names and uses, and gain a deeper understanding of their ecosystems. The number of participants for this walk will be limited, so please arrive early!
12:30pm to 1:30pm
Sue Sierralupe is the clinic manager and lead herbalist for Occupy Medical, a free integrated healthcare clinic in Eugene, Oregon where she treats community members and advocates for access to healthcare.
Sue will give a brief history of the Occupy movement, the clinic itself, and the evolution of the herbal medicine movement in America. Learn how to set up your own clinic and which herbs to start with for successful patient care.
2:30pm to 5:00pm
Aromatherapy ~ The Fragrant Art of Healing
Kathi Keville has been teaching and writing about herbal medicine, aromatherapy, herb gardening, and ethnobotany for over forty years. She is the co-author of Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art and will be joining us to demystify the practice of using essential oils for health and healing. This will be a very special class for anyone interested in including these concentrated herbal oils in their medicine cabinet. Come experience a world of good scents with aromatherapist and herbalist Kathi Keville!
Aromatherapy ~ Natural Skin Care ~ Ritual ~ Perfume ~ Relaxation ~ Energizing
Essential Oils ~ Hydrosols ~ Aromatic Plants in the Garden
and much more…
What is Herb Day?
Herb Day is an international celebration of herbs and herbal products that is packed with events aimed at educating and sharing ideas about the many ways herbs bring joy and wellbeing into our daily lives. We celebrate herbs in food, beverages, medicine, beauty products, and crafts, along with the art of growing and gardening with herbs. Herb Day is a grassroots movement and its events belong to everyone who chooses to participate. Although May 4th will be the focal point of our celebration, we encourage you to commemorate Herb Day any time of year!
Posted by|07 April 2014
It may have been made famous by New Orleans coffee shops and cafés, but roasted Chicory root beverages made from this blue-flowered perennial have been created for centuries. Recipes for hot Chicory coffee beverages were brought to the U.S. from Europe and Scandinavia in the 18th century. According to legend, however, it became a New Orleans staple during the American Civil War. Because of the inability to get their beloved coffee due to Union naval blockades, the citizens of Louisiana took to adding roasted Chicory to their coffee blends to make the mixtures stretch. The coffee-like flavor made it the perfect substitution.
Chicory (Cichorium intybu) is actually a relative of the dandelion and it is high in Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, and has the highest concentration of inulin of any other plant that contains inulin (not to be confused with insulin). Despite its coffee-like depth and flavor, it does not contain the caffeine so prevalent in traditional coffee beans. Chicory lends itself well to experimentation and can be taken as a tea, mixed into a tonic, or you can try creating your favorite coffee drink with Roasted Chicory as the sole substitute.
The part of the Chicory plant used for roasting is the root.The plants grow wild throughout the U.S. and tend to be found in ditches, hillsides, and other similar spots. They do not grow well in mowed fields or high traffic areas (but they can be found in many abandoned urban areas.) The roots tend to grow deeply, so digging can be a bit of a chore, but completely doable! Once you’ve dug the roots, you will need to clean them well before chopping the roots into smaller pieces. They can then be roasted at the lowest oven setting for 8-10 hours—or until all the moisture has evaporated and the root pieces are dry and brittle. They can then be stored and ground up for use.
Of course, if searching, harvesting, cleaning, and roasting your own chicory root is not in your schedule, we’ve created the following recipes using our Certified Organic Roasted Chicory Root!
Chicory Café au Lait
For each cup, add 1 teaspoon each ground Fair Trade coffee and Organic Roasted Chicory Root to coffee maker of choice and brew with water.
Meanwhile, heat milk of choice (almond*, coconut, soy, and rice milk are particularly tasty with this beverage) to just below scalding—little bubbles will start to form around the edge of the saucepan and the milk will be steaming, but do not allow to boil.
Add milk to coffee, stir, and enjoy! If it’s not creamy and rich enough for you, consider adding a Tablespoon or so of organic coconut oil, stirring to dissolve. Luscious!
Coffee-Free Chicory Cacao Mocha
If you prefer to omit the coffee altogether, this is just the herbal beverage for you:
Heat 1 cup milk of choice (see above) until steaming and hot, but not boiling. Stir in 1 Tablespoon Organic Roasted Chicory Root powder and 1 Tablespoon Organic Roasted Cacao powder. If you want it a little sweet, add 1 teaspoon raw organic sugar or honey to taste. Stir to dissolve and incorporate. Pour into cup and serve.
*I like to make homemade almond milk: 1 cup almonds covered with water and soaked overnight, then drained. Toss plumped almonds in the blender with 3 1/2 to 4 cups water and blend well. Add 1/2 scraped seeds from an organic vanilla bean, a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg, and a dash or two of organic cinnamon. Blend a few seconds more and then strain well using a strainer and cheesecloth into a glass pitcher, jar, or bottle.
Posted by|06 April 2014
This delicious tea recipe came to our Events Coordinator, Mason, in a dream! We wanted to call it Mason’s Dream Tea, but that name implies a soothing sleepy tea and this blend will definitely stimulate the senses.
This recipe mixes smooth black tea with a strong flavor of extra rich vanilla and peppy orange peel. We liked it with a little sweet honey and milk for a super delectable treat – the perfect beverage for a Sunday morning brunch!
Mason’s Orange Vanilla Wake-Up Tea
1 Tablespoon organic Vanilla Black Tea
1/2 chopped organic Vanilla bean or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic dried Orange Peel
Milk of choice and raw, organic honey to taste
Place Vanilla Black Tea and dried Orange Peel in a tea infuser. Chop the Vanilla bean into the dried tea mix. (or add ½ teaspoon good Vanilla extract to the tea once it has steeped) Pour boiling water over and allow to steep for approximately 2-3 minutes. Add milk, cream, and/or raw organic honey to taste.
Posted by|04 April 2014
Amla, also know as amlaki or Indian gooseberry, is the fruit of a small to medium-sized deciduous tree native to India. The berries are greenish yellow and have a fibrous inner texture. Their peak harvesting season is in the autumn, which is when these little berries are collected by hand.
In Hinduism, the amla tree is considered sacred to the goddess Lakshmi. A much-beloved staple of traditional Ayurvedic medicine, amla is considered a cooling pitta herb. It is one of the three ingredients in Triphala powder. This Ayurvedic blend is made of Amlaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), and Bibhitaki (Terminalia Belerica).
Mountain Rose Herbs offers two types of organic Amla. A traditionally processed whole Amla, and a dehydrated cut and sifted Amla. Both processes result in a sour, bitter, and astringent tasting dried fruit that is known for its ascorbic acid and Vitamin C content.
This whole organic Amla is traditionally dried in the sun – just like raisins. This process can take 10-15 days, and results in a dark brown almost black looking chunky fruit. Besides removing the seeds, the fruit does not go through any further processing. We also offer this same air-dried fruit in a powdered form, Organic Amla – Powder.
Our whole and powdered Amla can be made into capsules or used directly in smoothies, slurries, or other medicinal, culinary, or beverage preparations of your choice. This traditional air-dried material is also used to make natural dyes and inks. It has also been used to formulate hair care products such as shampoos and oils to nourish the hair and scalp.
Our dehydrated organic Amla also has the seeds removed from the fruit, but undergoes a much quicker drying process that only takes 1-2 days. This dehydration exposes the fruits to temperatures no higher than 104°F, which results in a color that is closer in appearance to the fresh fruit. This process also preserves some of the wonderful Vitamin C content that makes Amla so desirable. At 2000 mg per 100 grams, dehydrated Amla has 4 times the amount of Vitamin C than the traditional air-dried material. Thus, making it an ideal choice for your favorite medicinal, culinary, and beverage creations. The dehydrated pieces will easily re-hydrate in water, creating a fibrous texture similar to dehydrated apples with a much tarter taste. We don’t recommended using the dehydrated material for dyes and hair care products though. For that, stick with sun dried.
Visit our website here to learn more about this amazing fruit!
Posted by|03 April 2014
During a walk to the wetlands across the street from our facilities, we were so happy to see one of our favorite herbs, Dandelion, already going to seed! These seeds will soon be swooped up by the wind or blown away by a sweet child – beginning their journey to one day become part of delicious and healing recipes. Leaves, roots, and flowers, the whole plant offers us so much!
If you would like to start growing your own Dandelions, you can find their seeds here. If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by this precious plant, here are a few fun recipes for you to enjoy and share!